Invited as a guest of honour, UIC Chairman Ishida spoke to the Board of Directors of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) at their meeting on 4 October 2009 in Orlando, Florida, USA. It was the first time a UIC Chairman had been invited to the APTA Statutory Meeting.
In his speech, Mr. Ishida expressed his sincere gratitude for the efforts made by the APTA executive body. He stated that UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, and APTA, the North American public transport association, shared a common vision, with a conviction that they both could make significant contributions towards solving global environmental problems. Moreover, he hoped to see the continued development of practical collaborations such as the APTA / UIC seminars on international best practices for the development of high speed rail, which would be hosted jointly by UIC and APTA next February in three US cities. Mr. Ishida also stressed the importance of the role played by public transport in assessing high speed rail projects, stating that almost all successful high speed railways had safe, clean and reliable public transport networks serving their stations, and he received an enthusiastic welcome from the members of the APTA Board of Directors.
In a meeting between Mr. Ishida, APTA Chair Mattie P. Carter and APTA President William W. Millar following the Directors Meeting, they all agreed on the need to enhance and strengthen mutual understanding between UIC and APTA. APTA also explained that they were currently examining whether an MoU could be signed between APTA and UIC with the aim of establishing a long-lasting relationship in which each party would benefit from the other’s knowledge and expertise.
Mr. Ishida is also planning to visit Edward R. Hamberger, UIC Executive Board Member, and President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), on 7 October.
Mr. Ishida had also been invited to the 9th Summit of the Chairmen of European Railways, held on 5 September 2009 in Berlin, Germany, in which he delivered the closing speech. Mr. Ishida is also scheduled to attend the UIC Asia Environment Conference on 5 November in Kyoto, Japan, and the 1st World High Speed Interaction Workshop on 18 November in Daejeon, Korea, in both of which he will deliver opening speeches. He has also planned to travel the full distance on the “Climate Train” that will run on 5 December from Brussels, Belgium to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Mr. Ishida is endeavouring to make full use of all these opportunities to make the whole world aware of UIC’s presence as a platform for rail technology, bring the best out of the technical expertise of UIC staff from all over the world, and find new ways of contributing to the growth of railways worldwide.